Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Moshe Leib  Gurevitsh


Born in 1896 in Tshzshniki, Vitebsk Gubernia, White Russia. Father -- a teacher. He learned in a modern cheder, and in a Russian early (onfang) school. In 1905 he immigrated with his family to Lodz, where he learned in Katzenelson's Hebrew pro-gymnasium, then in the Russian Aleksander school.

In 1911 he debuted in the Ukrainian troupe of Y. M. Magaydatshny in the dramatization of Gogl's "Taras Bulba", studied the theatre arts with regisseur and actor M. L. Meyerson. 1913 -- together with friends he founded the drama circle "Drama and Music", where he participated in Russian, in Edelheim's one-acter "Der pasazhir", and in Yiddish in Sholem Aleichem's  one-acters.

 In the beginning of 1914 he staged with his circle Gordin's "Chasia the Orphan" (acting as "Trakhtenberg"), and "Etz ha da'at (Tree of Knowledge)" (acting as "Motye"). 1915 -- with the same circle, Stanislav Psibishevski's "Gest" and Andreyev's "Di teg fun undzer lebn" and one-acters by Sholem Aleichem, David Pinski and Mark Arnstein. 1918 -- he entered into the provincial troupe "Lida", under the leadership of Zalmen Zylbercweig and acted as "Prokop" in Kobrin's "Dorfsyung"., and under Zylbercweig's direction, he also participated in several Hebrew productions across the Polish province. In the summer of 1919 he participated in the guest-starring of Leonid Sniegoff in "Harbst-fidlen" and "Father". 1919-20 -- in the "Lodzer Yiddish Dramatic Theatre" (Director: A. Kompaneyets, artistic direction -- Avraham Morevsky). Summer 1920 -- acted with a member troupe in Bialystok and Grodno.

At the end of 1920 he arrived in Kovno, Lita (Lithuania), where he entered into the dramatic theatre (Leader -- L Sokolov), then in the "Folks Theatre" (founder: N. Lipovski), and in the "First United Troupe in Lita", where he acted until 1928, from where he was invited as an artistic leader of the studio with Kovno's "Kinder hoyz", where he staged for the first time on the Yiddish stage, a conception of Chasidic stories, words, melodies under the name "Chasidic Evening", Itzhak Katzenelson's "The Sale of Joseph" in Yiddish, a dramatization by W. Bush's "Notl un motl", Sholem Aleichem's "Mentshn", A. Kuprin's "Kolwn", Andreyev's "The Seven Who Were Hanged", and Pinski's "Der oytser (The Treasure)".

In 1928 -- co-founder of the "New Yiddish Theatre in Lita", which began with a member troupe in which he performed as "Lou Mozgovoyer" in Sholem Aleichem's  "Goldgreber (Golddiggers)", and remained there to act, where the troupe went over to private hands under the direction of the guest-starring Menachem Rubin, Julius Adler, Rudolph Zaslavsky, Celia Adler, Zygmunt Turkow et al.

When the Nazi's had occupied Lita, they had him deported and killed.

Sh. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4803.

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